ELC and Brunel University unveil toy design project winner

Ben Alport's Drop and Pop Giraffe has won the competition that spanned over two years.
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Early Learning Centre and Brunel University have revealed the winner of an initiative challenging design students to create a new toy for very young children.

The Drop and Pop Giraffe has been crowned the triumphant product of the project that spanned over two years, having commenced on January 23rd, 2012.

BA Industrial Design and Technology student Ben Alport’s winning design is a big, yellow giraffe. Children can drop balls into the slot in the giraffe’s head in order to start the music playing while they wait for the balls to pop out of the giraffe’s feet.

Designed with children aged 12 months and over in mind, the giraffe’s feet light up as the balls pop while the set plays four different tunes.

The product has emerged frm a partnership between ELC and Brunel University, devised to give students an insight into the realities of the commercial world.

“We were looking for something that would be new, fresh and from some of the most creative design students, so we chose Brunel Design,” said Claire Loxley from Early Learning Centre.

“These are all highly creative and technologically skilled students,” added Paul Turnock, Brunel University director of product design. “But this process gave them an insight into the way a commercial company works, in a sector which most students were unfamiliar with.”

Students were given just one week to design a new product. From 120 students, six finalists were given four months to develop ideas through sketches, design mock-ups, models and prototypes.

Alport’s successful Drop and Pop Giraffe will now retail at £30.

“We are really impressed with all six finalists which made it very difficult for us to choose a winner,” said ELC.

“But after a lot of discussion we went for Ben’s Girrafe, an inspired idea with such character and such intrinsic magic for young children.

“It just made you want to smile every time you played with it.”

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